Victoria S. Hardy

Victoria S. Hardy

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Doctors Vs. Health

Doctors Vs. Health 

I’ve had a lot of exciting and wonderful things happen this week, and the worst part of it was that I couldn’t enjoy it as I wanted to because the body went into protest.  I don’t often talk about my physical/health issues, and I quit going to doctors about ten years ago because they were only making them worse.

I used to, like many of us, think doctors had all the answers. I expected what they show on TV with the doctor being the hero, diagnosing and curing right away, but I have found that doctors rarely cure, mostly treat symptoms, and generally aren’t a big fan of questions or information that counters their schooling (designed and paid mostly by pharmaceutical companies).  

Recently a relative said something along the lines of - “You’re sick again??” And although it hurt my feelings, I recognize that I am not as sick as many who have suffered through my health traumas. Back in my 20s and 30s I listened to all the doctors, I took the pills they gave me without question. If they said I needed surgery, well then I had the surgery. I believed, almost a religious belief, their education meant they knew my body better than I did. 

I’ve had some strange experiences listening to their guidance and trusting. I went a little crazy when the experts had me on three anti-depressants, one because my son died, and two others to help me sleep. They were the experts, although it was my body and mind being manipulated. 

Listening to doctors, I had several unneeded surgeries, one of which landed me on my back for months with open wounds, a mistake in the reconnection of bowel left me with peritonitis and sepsis, and I nearly died, did die, was brought back, and nearly died again. I had transfusions, and infections, and near death experiences. I have scars that make both doctors and tattoo artists cringe.

I’ve given up all faith of the perfect drug that will cure, and have decided to get most of the chemicals out of my life. I do all right if I pace myself, don’t overbook, and don’t give myself too much social interaction. I do all right if I can breathe deeply and relax. I do all right if I eat clean food, and cook for myself. I do all right if I clean with baking soda and vinegar and throw all the chemicals away. 

So for those “you’re sick again??” folks, I am a small handful of people who have had shit bags glued to their belly, have met and dealt with their intestine sticking out of their belly, that hasn’t had another surgical episode in nearly 15 years. I am a small percent of people who have survived peritonitis and sepsis, and although the biggest part of my immune system - my belly and bowel - was ravaged by drugs, surgery, radiation, and radio active chemicals for months on end I’m still here and getting by, and often quite active. 

And by the way, I’m not sick again - I am still recovering from a tragic accident (and trust of doctors), which left me with nearly half of what some know as a digestive system.  

As usual, keeping seeking and questioning. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Writing Is More Pollock Than Monet

 Writing Is More Pollock Than Monet

I always imagined writing books to be done in big open rooms with huge windows, calm dogs lying at my feet, and surrounded by tall reflective wooden shelves overflowing with leather bound information. I imagined a garden outside, filled with flowers, singing birds, fluttering insects, and lazy cats. I imagined Monet water-colored days of creating worlds, softly lighted foggy mornings of changing perspectives, or at least giving hope and a smile. 

Unfortunately, I have discovered my imagination and truth are not really in tune with each other.  I love writing, and I’ve been doing it since I could hold a crayon in my hand. Writing is where I go to both disappear and to be present. It is something that I know I was called to do, but the actual act, performance, and completion of a novel hasn’t matched my dreams or beliefs.

The words are hard – trying to set the scenes, figure out the characters, and make them likable.  The editing comes next, which can feel like moving a mountain into the proper place. The tasks unfold from there - the anxiety attacks wondering if it’s good enough, if the people will laugh, or if I was too cheesy or mentioned God too many times. And then I spend days or weeks with my demons telling me I’m not worthy of reaching my simple dreams. 

When writing a novel, I am sleepless, my dreams filled with their stories. When editing, I’m nervous, agonizing over any mistake. And when releasing the work to the world, I’m as scared as a three-year-old who knows the monster is in the closet and about to attack. 

I thought those things were hard, and I have to say that I have grown comfortable with my known, mostly organic, and individual fears, but the world is what freaks me out.  Writing a novel is a hellish roller coaster ride, the emotions are real, and if I don’t feel it, the reader certainly won’t, but the hardest thing is the world, and the odd interruptions that occur in the process. 

Although I haven’t kept a journal of the oddities that have happened, from a short list I can say – squirrels, birds, and bats in the house (and let’s not discuss the palmetto bugs), car wrecks in the yard, weird disputes from the unexpected, peculiar requests from acquaintances or people from a nearly forgotten past, knocks on the door to borrow items, fights on the street, falling trees, inexplicable technical problems, power outages, and broken keyboards.  All of those things may happen on any given day, I suppose, but they never seem to happen on a day when I’m not writing, and not deep in a story. 

My imagination, and yes, my dreams, paint writing as a smooth enjoyable experience, but reality has shown it’s rather horrible.  My mind wants gentle breezes, soft sunsets, and deep leather chairs holding onto satisfaction; reality has shown raging storms full of falling rocks breaking through the walls with burning interruptions - an invisible war zone that only I feel. 

I suppose it is only trust and faith that keeps me doing it, or maybe an indescribable need to quench something inside that I didn’t design and can’t control. They say we must choose our battles in life, and I suppose this is my war.  I must write beyond the interruptions, fight the distractions, and know that the harder I try, the better, and stronger I become.  

Novel writing ain’t for sissies.

As usual, keep trying and keep seeking.